How Can my Mug Shot be Removed from the Internet Once I have Been Informed of the Expungement of My
Getting your criminal record expunged or sealed is never an easy task. You probably assume that once you have completed all the paperwork and had it approved that that will be the end of the matter. It seems that it’s not as simple as that as there are some unscrupulous businesses preying on vulnerable people like you who have somehow got hold of your booking photo and posted it far and wide on the internet for all to see including your employer.
That is definitely not the publicity you want.
To make matters worse, that very same company has said they will erase all signs of the photo if you front up with $399. Fortunately the Florida Legislature has become wise to this practice and has finally made an important move to stop this sort of exploitation of vulnerable people.
Florida Senate Bill 188 states that such companies can’t charge any money to erase mug shots taken at a person’s arrest. If the photo hasn’t been removed within 10 days an injunction may be filed. The company may be instructed to pay $1,000 a day for their extortionist activity. This all came about following the prosecution in Florida of the 4 owners of Mugshots.com. They were charged with identity theft, extortion and money laundering.
If you have a mug shot taken when arrested, anyone has the right to view the photo online until you have had your record legally expunged or sealed. When this takes place the sheriff at the specific jail, The police department who reported the case and the clerk of court are told to remove the image and any information reported on your case from the internet and no one else is allowed to post the mug shot in a public place. Also, as soon as your record has been expunged or sealed, you are able to legally deny when completing a job application, that you were ever arrested. That is protected by law.
The only exceptions to this are:
if you are applying to a criminal justice organization;
you are a defendant in a case involving a criminal prosecution;
you are filing an application for a successive petition to expunge or seal;
you are applying to Florida’s bar;
you are filing an application to the department of education or dept. of children and families;
you want to buy a gun and a criminal history record is required;
you are submitting an application for a guardian’s position;
you are submitting an application to the state licensing bureau.
In order to get a record sealed in the criminal courts in Florida, you need to meet certain specific requirements which are:
The court withheld adjudication on your charge,
No prior criminal conviction is permitted for any offense, which includes any criminal traffic offense like reckless driving or even an Expired Tag greater than 6 months,
You may not have ever had any prior record expunged or sealed.
A person may also have a sealed criminal record expunged after 10 years if the person has not been adjudicated guilty of another criminal offense in that time.
Otherwise, A person may have a criminal record expunged under the following circumstances.:
To qualify for a criminal record to be expunged you are required to meet certain criteria as follows:
the record has to have been not-filed by Florida’s attorney’s office, or dismissed completely by the court, or the Florida state attorney’s office filed a nolle prosequi (nolle prosse);
you can’t have had any prior record either sealed or expunged.
There are some offenses that can’t be sealed, even if there was a favorable outcome in court. However they can be expunged if the case was dismissed, nolle prossed, no actioned, or if you were acquitted so long as you meet the other qualifications as set forth above.
What’s the difference between a sealed criminal record and expunged criminal record?
The law says a sealed record may be unsealed and re-opened if an appropriate party with standing and legal reasons moves the court to unseal the criminal record. The party seeking to unseal must show the court that there is a justifiable interest where the publics need to know outweighs a persons need to keep the records sealed. In the past, several news organizations have moved to unseal certain criminal records after showing it is important to have the record unsealed and for them to be able to comment on the defendant’s case. Most judges will deny that request, however it is possible to unseal a criminal record which has been sealed by court order.
However, it is almost impossible to unexpunge a record that has been ordered expunged or “destroyed” unless you are the person requesting it and show a valid reason for so doing. This shows us that the record is never really destroyed as was called for by statute but is actually sealed without the ability of being unsealed, unless you are the person so requesting.
An example is a person seeking immigration benefits. The USCIS usually requests a certified copy of any prior arrests, their corresponding court records and dispositions. They, as Homeland security, know there was an arrest but don’t have the reason why. Thus, the applicant must petition the court, usually through his or her attorney and show there is a need for the record to be temporarily unexpunged for the purposes of making certified copies for the defendant and then immediately re-expunged. Attorneys provide this service for their clients on a regular basis.
The process of achieving a sealing or expunction of a criminal record is complicated and often denied either at the administrative level or at the judicial level. Thus, it is very important to retain a competent Miami criminal defense attorney that will process the entire sealing or expunction case and push it along so that it is done in an expedited fashion. This often means somewhere between nine months and one year as these agencies that need to approve the petition are swamped with requests and are taking that long to approve them.
If you aren’t too sure if your charges can be expunged or sealed, your online photo has been abused, or you wish to seal or expunge a criminal arrest record in Florida, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes, at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.